Philosophy and the Career-Dr. Pratap Nirbhay Singh

It was the French philosopher René Descartes who said: “I think, therefore I am.” But devoting your days to thinking about life’s big questions hardly translates into an obvious career plan. No wonder philosophy has long been derided as a degree for drifters.

But while it might be true that a philosophy degree is not a vocational subject, the wide variety of professions its graduates enter – and the array of skills it equips you with – mean you don’t have to be Plato or Socrates to make your mark in life. Just under half of 2009 philosophy graduates found employment within a year. Popular sectors include business and finance (10.2%) closely followed by commercial, industrial and public sector management (9.8%) and marketing, sales and advertising (8.1%). But nearly one in five were in retail or catering roles, reflecting general difficulties in the current jobs market.

High-profile philosophy graduates such as poet TS Eliot, film director Woody Allen, martial arts actor Bruce Lee, civil rights leader Martin Luther King and former US president Bill Clinton are all examples of how the subject can broaden your employment horizons as well as your thinking.

What skills have you gained?

Studying philosophy will have taught you to think logically and critically about issues, to analyse and construct arguments and to be open to new ways of thinking. In addition, you should be able to write clearly and persuasively, absorb and sift complex information and to distinguish between different views and come to a reasoned opinion. You will also be self-motivated, creative and used to prioritising your work and working to deadline – all talents sought after by employers.

What jobs can you do?

“A degree in philosophy does not lead directly into many jobs, an exception being teaching the subject at post-16 levels in colleges or universities,” says Margaret Holbrough, careers adviser at Graduate Prospects. “However, philosophers carry certain kudos, being viewed as ‘thinkers’ with a perception of life and society that can be very useful in numerous environments.”

Careers in central and local government, the legal profession, training, recruitment and human resources, advertising, marketing and journalism are also possible job options. “Working with people and understanding their thought processes and emotions is an alternative area that might appeal to philosophy graduates too,” Holbrough says. “Psychotherapy or counselling are two careers that offer this.”

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Uplifting Philosophy Uplifting Self

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” – James Madison

The 21st Century has been acknowledged worldwide as the ‘Knowledge Century’. Every nation now finds itself operating in an increasingly competitive and globalised international environment where the information infrastructure, research and innovation systems, education and lifelong learning, and regulatory frameworks are crucial variables. In the words of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, “The time has come to create a second wave of institution building, and of excellence, in the fields of education, research and capability building so that we are better prepared for the 21st Century.” Since India’s independence, there has been a persistent demand on behalf of the country’s intellectuals, expressed in different professional, philosophical and non-philosophical fora, to re-examine both ancient and modern philosophical systems so as to evaluate them and derive from them new directives for today’s changing conditions. There is a definite impetus towards an independent Indian philosophical identity. There is a sense of an urgent need, on different levels, to reinforce research and philosophical studies in India.

We feel that Philosophy is an open-ended, pioneering discipline, forever opening up new areas of study and new methods of inquiry. Philosophy has been affects Social Sciences and Humanities from the very begining. Cultivation of ethical, moral, cultural and spiritual ideas by studying philosophy at various levels of education can change the mindset of the people. Philosophy is a growing phenomenon, a developing sphere. Each step in the journey of human development adds new bench marks in it. We have used the term Positive Philosophy for this. Our object is to achieve an intellectual detachment from all philosophical systems, and not to solve specific philosophical problems, but to become sensitively aware of what it is we do when we philosophize. An Interdisciplinary Study is a field of study that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions have emerged .Originally the term interdisciplinary is applied within education and training pedagogies to describe studies that use methods and insights of several established disciplines or traditional fields of study.

In order to reach the goal of creating a knowledge society, the majority of the people of India must be helped to overcome ‘information poverty.’ The deprived knowledge will have to be given access to relevant and timely information and knowledge to address the roles they should play in the developmental process. The society is fully dedicated in the abovesaid initiatives and working towards better performance.

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” – Margaret Fuller

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Annual Conference

Annual Conference 2010

Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies
School of Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University

is hosting the Annual Conference 2010 of the

Comparative Education Society of India (CESI)


November 15-17, 2010

Conference Theme
Globalisation, Education Change and Reforms: Comparative Perspective

Click for brochure1

& brochure2

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Shri Aurobindo

A Great  Philosopher and The Yogi of India.

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